They were criticized for being a Beatles ripoff, often being called the pre-fab four. Critics griped that they didn't play their own instruments. Still, for their original run, from 1966-1970, the Monkees reached the top of the music world. Many years and reunions later, the Monkees were still performing together as late as 2002.
One of the reasons for their longevity was a bit of a Monkees revival thanks to MTV. On February 23, 1986, MTV ran a Monkees Marathon and the Monkees were relaunched back into the music scene.
The video below features a Monkees Christmas medley which aired on MTV and featured a handful of MTV stars, along with Micky, Davy and Peter. Even Mike makes an appearance, very near the end.